Archive for the Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Category

UPDATE: Why We Fight

Posted in Actions, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, New York, suicide on April 21, 2009 by jeffbhall

Last week we told you about the death of  Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.  Carl killed himself because bullies constantly called him gay.  Today comes another sad reminder of why we fight.  Jaheem Herrera, also an 11 year old boy, committed suicide by hanging himself Thursday after, according to his family, relentless bullying at Dunaire Elementary School.

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According to newspaper reports:

“Jaheem’s body was discovered by his 10-year-old sister, Yerralis, also a fifth-grader.

“His sister was screaming, ‘Get him down, get him down,’ ” Keene said.

When Keene got to the room, he saw Yerralis holding her brother, trying to remove the pressure of the noose her brother had fashioned with a fabric belt.

Jaheem was bullied relentlessly, his family said. Keene said the family knew the boy was a target, but until his death they didn’t understand the scope.

“We’d ask him, ‘Jaheem, what’s wrong with you?’ ” Keene recalled. “He’d never tell us.”

He didn’t want his sister to tell, either. She witnessed much of the bullying, and many times rose to her brother’s defense, Keene said.

They called him gay and a snitch,” his stepfather said. “All the time they’d call him this.”

We do not fight merely for political gain or to make a quixotic philosophical point.  We fight because this is more than a matter of equality under the law, it is literally a matter of life and death for kids  like Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera.

If there could possibly be a positive outcome of these deaths, The Power has recieved a report from one public school in Delaware that will be using the news of these senseless deaths to open a dialog between teachers and students on the topic of bullying.

In the mean time, you can take action. If you live in New York, call your state senator (click here to find out who they are) to tell them the importance of supporting the Dignity for All Students Act.  It has passed the Assembly every year for the last seven years.  Let’s make sure it becomes law.  For children like Carl and Jaheem.

Sign the petition to amend the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people.

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Why We Fight

Posted in Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, Dignity for All Students Act, GLSEN, National Day of Silence, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by thepowerny

glsen_articlesimage_large2400w200hnormOn Tuesday of last week, when we were reveling in reports that Vermont had enacted same-sex marriage, that Washington D.C. had voted to recognize out-of-district same-sex marriages, and that Governor Patterson of New York said he would introduce same-sex marriage legislation, Sirdeaner L. Walker of Springfield, Massachusetts (where gay marriage is legal), was morning the death of her 11 year-old son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.  Carl killed himself the day before because bullies constantly called him gay.

As we make swift advances for gay rights that we never thought possible, it’s easy to relax and assume that with Democrats in control of Congress, the White House, a majority of state legislatures, and a majority of governorships, that our struggle is all downhill from here and that we can leave the fight up to lobbyists and well-financed organizations.   But can we call ourselves successful as a movement as long as this is happening?  The attitudes that have kept us from having equal rights are the same attitudes which condition young children to bully others with words like, “gay” and “fag.”  While network news may chalk it up to routine bullying, we have to stand up and say this is learned behavior and it’s not acceptable.

Friday GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network), will sponsor the 13th National Day of Silence, during which students at 8,000 educational institutions and their supporters will take some vow of silence during the day to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) name-calling, bullying and harassment.  Edge Publications reports that anti-gay groups are advising parents to keep their children home to avoid being exposed to the peaceful protest.

While so much attention is being given to the adult issue of marriage, we must stand up and fight for the youth as well.

If you live in New York, call your state senator (click here to find out who they are) to tell them the importance of supporting the Dignity for All Students Act.  It has passed the Assembly every year for the last seven years.  Let’s make sure it becomes law.  For children like Carl.

Sign the petition to amend the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people.

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/pages/The-Power/73711392696?ref=ts